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Governor Herbert Expects Legislature to Decide on Medicaid This Year


Earlier this week, the chair of the Utah Democratic party Peter Corroon criticized state Republican lawmakers for failing to act on a Medicaid expansion. He said all he could do was pray the governor would call a special legislative session to resolve the issue. Corroon’s prayers may be answered before the end of the year.

Governor Gary Herbert said at his monthly KUED news conference that there is good news on the horizon for low-income Utahns who don’t have access to government assisted health coverage. 

“We’ve been able to work together with House leadership and Senate leadership, and I’m expecting another special session to come here this year, where we in fact resolve our differences and come together on an alternative to Medicaid expansion,” Herbert said.

Herbert has been working with a group of Republican leaders to come up with a proposal that lawmakers in the legislature will support after Republicans rejected his Healthy Utah plan earlier this year. House leaders have said they don’t want to commit taxpayer dollars to a government program that could expand beyond the state’s ability to fund it.

“I believe that the proposal we’re coming together on will be better, actually better than Medicaid expansion in helping those who need help,” he said.

Herbert said the new proposal would require hospitals and others who receive Medicaid payments to return a portion of those funds to the state to help pay for the program. He said the group is continuing to meet with those stakeholders to work out the details.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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